Review | ‘250 First Dates’ brings the advice we all needed to Fringe World

250 First Dates | Girls School | til Jan 23 | ★ ★ ★ ★

Relatable, funny and endearing. These are the words that come to mind when I think of the one woman show by Tania and her wonderful support team.

This jukebox musical, tinder-swiping, young 20-something romp is going to remind you of your own miserly dating life as you search for some bloody sense in 2021 and trying to figure out who you are in relation to other people. It’s touching, hits some key notes on advice we probably all need and definitely takes you through the experiences we’ve all had when dating.

The music was timely and comical and the set and lighting design, whilst simple, were effective. With live musical accompaniment by Ethan Walters this show doesn’t lag and doesn’t drag which is a great thing considering the air-conditioning and seating with back support is a rare luxury in the Girls School.

At times, Tania could come across as quite self-pitying and despondent which can serve the story should the journey be great enough, but I never felt she truly left that space and we only touched ever so briefly on the hope that perhaps she would come out a changed person. Maybe that is a reflection on where the actor is at in this period of their life, should the piece reflect reality.

Also, do not expect to be walking into a queer theatre piece. This piece is through and through heterosexual, and I feel it is my job as a reviewer for an LGBTQIA+ publication to make that clear. There are queer people involved in the production but you will be watching something very much in-your-face heterosexual. Nonetheless, Tania’s experiences are widely universal and we have all felt the sting of a Jasper or two in our time.

If you’re in your late 20s, have done a little travelling before COVID-19 hit and feel like you really suck at this dating and connecting thing, then this show is going to bring it all home in a way that is both entertaining and comical and maybe a little therapeutic. Catch it as one well-executed solo show this Fringe World season. You’d be silly to miss it.

See 250 First Dates until Saturday 23rd January. For tickets and more information, head to fringeworld.com.au

Kyle J. Kash is an actor, writer and producer who studied at USyd, Curtin, Stella Adler Studio of Acting (NY) and The Actors’ Hub. He loves queer theatre, not taking life too seriously and tearing up old magazines to make collages for his bedroom so one night stands have a conversation starter if they hang around.

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